Wednesday, October 31, 2012

#2257 My Campbell Live Cameo

Hi everybody! I survived the storm; as did all other Williamsburg residents – we're some of the lucky few who never lost power. The worst I experienced was wifi going offline for a few hours last night, but besides that, all was well. The East River did swell up over the banks, past the Domino's Sugar Factory and onto my street, but it was merely a trickle by the time it got that far. One crazy experience I may never have again was standing on my rooftop and staring at a blacked-out Manhattan skyline at midnight. Lower East Siders have not fared so well – I have tonnes of friends who've lost power, hot water, supermarkets and everything else that makes life comfortable, and to give you an idea of how crazy things got in the city, some subway stations flooded all the way to the ceiling. That's some movie ish right there. Last night amid Sandy's tirade, I had an experience I've been dreaming about for years: A one-on-one Skype call with my mate John Campbell (For non-New Zealanders I guess he's like the Kiwi Anderson Cooper?). Check out the clip here, and if you're homeless in Manhattan and need a bed for the night, email me! I can't seem to give that damn thing away.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#2256 Laughing in the face of Sandy

Greetings from New York, where the rain is falling sideways, the bridges are closed, and groceries can be purchased from bodegas at twice their usual price. I flew in yesterday on the last flight out of Los Angeles (every plane leaving after 8:30am was cancelled), and discovered that the sunny city I left six weeks ago had been replaced by an Autumnal storm site. I love New York in Fall. (That's what I'd be saying if I was Carrie Bradshaw.) But I actually do. It reminds me of every film I'd ever seen set in this city before I moved here – cloudy and grey with blustery winds that pick up fallen leaves and dance them around skyscrapers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

#2255 The Little Brother Story, as told to Four Pins

Welcome to New Zealand. It's a country best known for rugby, Lord of the Rings, being the first nation to give women the vote, Flight of the Conchords, birthing both Edmund Hillary, the first guy to climb Mount Everest, and Lord Rutherford, the first guy to split the atom, and having a sheep population that outnumbers our humans 10:1. In case you don't know, we're located East of Australia, our countrymen are not descended from convicts and we're colloquially referred to as Kiwis. Unlike most small countries (which can typically boast at least one sartorial innovation), we don't have a history of good fashion. Scotland has tartan and tweed. Belgium has duffel coats. We have farmers roaming around in bush shirts paired with short shorts and gumboots.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#2254 Tom Bull for Barkers Round Two

Back in August, when the sun was still burning brightly in the sky, a quintet of Australasians took a trip from New York City to the magical adult playland of wealth, sand, surf and sweetly-scented sweat; The Hamptons. The group included male model Tom Bull, photographer Greg Lewis, Barkers General Manager Jamie Whiting, Creative Director Paul Biddle and yours truly in the styling, art direction, production, team morale, negotiations and comic relief department. We were there to shoot the campaign for Barkers' Spring/Summer 2012/13 collection, following on from our freshman campaign for the brand's Fall/Winter 2012 season. Highlights included a day-long hiatus at the holiday mansion of one of the world's top video game CEOs, shooting on the Montauk cliffs, late night jacuzzis at the euphemistically named Hilton Garden Inn, and Tom breaking the pedal off my beloved bicycle while attempting these stunts. Check out all the photos below, plus a behind-the-scenes video shot by Mister Alexander Norton. We had to do it again, right?

Friday, October 19, 2012

#2253 Presenting Wish You Were Here – Little Brother S/S 2012/13

Check it out, everybody! It's the lookbook for Wish You Were Here, Little Brother's S/S 2012/13 collection. Quoting myself from the press release (ROFLcopter)... "The name Wish You Were Here comes from the fact that I'm travelling or in New York, the brand and my friends and family are in New Zealand, and my Mum is constantly telling me to send postcards back home. Everything in the range can be worn together; we focused on creating a collection of easy menswear that fans of the brand will be able to throw on with confidence and know they look good. It's not complicated clothing, it's just straight up, clean menswear that you can wear every day of the week." Click below for all the photos. HOLLA!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

#2252 A fly on Tyga's wall

Tyga in the studio. Photo: KingGoldChains
Let's get something straight: Underground and/or conscious hip hop is not where it's at. Sure it might show some kind of intellectual depth to listen to a beat-driven genre for its lyrics, but at the end of the day the thing that'll keep you coming back is the music. Commercial rap is the jam. I've been listening to it since the day I turned 12 with the glee of a drunk girl at her birthday party: 'OH MY GOD IT'S MY SONG!!! IT'S MY SONGGGG!!!!!' So when I got the chance to sit in on one of Tyga's studio sessions and watch him record his new album, I very casually said yes, then spontaneously combusted. The location was Paramount studio, which boasts Bruno Mars, Pink, Olivia Newton John and Dr Dre among its clients. The time was 9:00pm. My host was Jess Jackson, Tyga's full time producer, and he'd just received good news.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

#2251 An Education on trench coats and colour

I bought a trench coat last week and it's been freaking me out. It could just be that I'm in LA and nobody seems to wear anything more formal than a hoodie, but I've worn it twice, and I can't seem to get over how large a garment it is. Fortunately, I watched An Education last night and was reminded of just how fresh the trench can look, thrown on top of a plain, dark suit. (Since I'm not much of a suit wearer, I'll be trying it with a navy blazer or solid-colour sweater and dark pants.) More importantly, I was reminded of how incredibly good looking that film is – Peter Sarsgaard's and Dominic Cooper's wardrobes are endlessly covetable, as are their cars, apartments, art and lady friends. But the guy who really steals the show is Matthew Beard, Carey Mulligan's ill-fated young love interest; he kills it in his charcoal school uniform, grey button down and dark duffel coat. This film is the perfect example of the power of keeping things simple – a white shirt and pocket square go with everything, as does a black tie and leather lace up. Who knows? Maybe it's time to ditch colour for a spell.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#2250 The facts of life

1. It's been a while since I wrote one of these – or anything of any real substance on this here blog – but I've learned a thing or two over the past couple of months, so here goes nothing: When people ask me what the difference is between New Zealanders and Americans, I always respond, "Americans are friendlier, more open, and know how to sell themselves. New Zealanders are reserved, judge first and ask questions later, and react negatively to anybody who thinks too highly of themselves." On my recent trip back home, I realised just how much my new country-of-residence had rubbed off on me. My Mother took me aside one day, and said, "Gosh you talk about yourself a lot. You know it's not illegal to ask somebody else a question about their life, right?" Nothing brings you back down to earth quicker than spending a week with a bunch of people who are not in the least bit impressed by your anecdotes of dinner parties with ex members of NSYNC.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

#2249 Hedi Slimane's first menswear collection for Saint Laurent Paris is online

Well this is strange. The biggest fashion news story of the past two years – who will succeed John Galliano at Dior? Will Hedi Slimane return to design? Whose collection will be better? – has just climaxed in Paris, with fascinating results. Raf Simons' first RTW collection for Dior was heralded as ground breaking, while Hedi Slimane's first at YSL was labelled safe, keeping with the house's traditions, and (quite unexpectedly), reminiscent of Rachel Zoe's work as a celebrity stylist. Personally, I far preferred Hedi Slimane's freshman season – it was laser sharp, tailored and boho-luxe all at the same time, and I would kill for one of those suede safari jackets. Also interesting; how different the two designers' approaches were in presenting their work. Raf Simons talked to press before the presentation and welcomed questions and quotes. Hedi Slimane's press team forbade interviews or backstage access, and treated many veteran critics impolitely, refusing entry to several, including Cathy Horyn, over petty, long-standing grudges.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#2248 Gubb and Mackie sails again

Gubb and Mackie started life in 1949 as a bespoke menswear outfit, tailoring uniforms for the New Zealand Navy. Some 50 years later, a couple of Auckland-based businessmen saw the opportunity to make a buck on the shuttered brand's heritage, relaunching with some memorable parties including a show on a real life frigate at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2003. Despite the big ideas and media attention, Gubb and Mackie didn't gain traction in the market, and with dwindling sales, the label was flicked off to Murray Crane soon after. He re-introduced it in the mid-2000s, with a heavy emphasis on clean, tailored, nautically inspired menswear. Once again, the effort was ill-fated. Like so many good things it was way ahead of its time – Crane opened a flagship in Britomart five years before every other designer had moved down there, and filled it with beige chinos and navy cotton blazers that were far too fashion forward for the menswear buying population of the day – it closed in April of 2009. On Wednesday this week it relaunched once again; this time helmed by a precocious 21 year old Crane Brothers employee named Jordan Gibson. I sat down with him for an hour last week. Check out the interview, and photos from his first collection, below.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

#2247 Wish You Were Here! (The Little Brother printed tees and sweats are.)

Like I mentioned the other day, Little Brother's Spring/Summer 2012/13 collection is entitled Wish You Were Here. The idea came from me being in New York, the brand being in New Zealand, and my Mum's persistent encouragements that I should send some cute postcards to my grandmothers. I still haven't sent the postcards, but I can give them both a tee shirt, because they've just landed in Auckland. We shot the samples at our lookbook shoot yesterday with Katherine Lowe of Katherine is Awesome fame (who was the co-designer on these here prints), modelled very prettily by Karl at Clyne, and they'll be available in store either Friday this week or Monday next. GET IN THE GAME, Y'ALL! One more below, extra colourways to come.